A pretrial court date has been set for Cortez Waller, the Conway man charged in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Christopher Childress in front of the Conway Police Department on July 15.
Waller is scheduled to appear in Faulkner County Circuit Court Sept. 23 in front of Circuit Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson.
According to 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden, the pretrial hearing will be held to make sure the court is aware of who Waller’s attorney will be and set timelines for when full discovery will be given to them.
“It’s too early for a lot to be happening,” Vaden said. “The pretrial is held to take care of housekeeping and scheduling.”
Vaden said there is still information to be gathered for the trial, including the autopsy report from the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
Although the pretrial is set for September, the trial may not get underway for several months.
“We might get this thing going by the end of the year, but I’m not sure,” Vaden said.
Waller was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault following the shooting death of Childress.
According to Conway police, Childress followed Waller in his vehicle through the city and eventually to the police station. Waller allegedly shot and killed Childress after a disturbance in the station’s Front Street parking lot. Officials said the disturbance stemmed from a relationship between Waller and Childress’ fiancee, DeRanda Carter. Police received conflicting information as to when the relationship ended.
Waller turned himself into police immediately following the incident.
Waller posted a $20,000 bond July 19, just hours before his scheduled first appearance in Faulkner County Circuit Court.
If convicted of first-degree murder, a Class Y felony, Waller could face 10-40 years or up to life in prison, Vaden said. A conviction on the aggravated assault charge, a Class D felony, could result in up to six years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)